This is a bit off the topic of coffee but is interesting. In the coffee industry we have seen this model thrive, and connection between the coffee farmers, the roasters and the consumers is growing quickly. I am a huge fan of education and transparency ... maybe the American Barista & Coffee School needs a "farm liason"? :)
"The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY has become the first college known to have a farm liaison. Paul Wigsten, the CIA's produce buyer and a 10th generation farmer, has assumed this unique role. Wigsten's new title formalizes and expands upon the CIA's program of buying from local farmers, which has been in place since the early 1990s under Brad Matthews, the college's director of purchasing."
Link to Article